New peach and nectarine varieties help Eastern growers compete

Peach growers and shippers in the Northeast who market to large retailers are seeing increasing competition from shippers in California, Georgia, South Carolina and even countries in the Southern Hemisphere… Traditionally, the market has hung its hat on yellow-fleshed peaches, said Jerry Frecon, a Rutgers University emeritus professor  ‘said there are plenty of new peaches and nectarines being developed. Many in the Mid-Atlantic states are coming from Rutgers University’s Tree Fruit Breeding Program, under the direction of plant biology and pathology professor Joseph Goffreda, at Cream Ridge, New Jersey.

Read the entire article at Good Fruit Grower »

How to make a yummy, consistent beer: Rutgers team is on a mission

There’s a lot of science that goes into making a tasty beer. But not all brewers and hop farmers — especially the small ones — have access to the tools and information they need to arrive at the perfect product… “What we really wanted to do was try to respond to what breweries and growers were asking of Rutgers,” said Jim Simon, principal investigator of the project. “They were asking: how do we position ourselves to level the playing field, to try to get the same type of information that some of the big breweries have?”

Read the entire article at NJ 101.5 »

Majority of US consumers ‘lack understanding’ of GMOs – survey

Almost 60% of American consumers have "a fair or poor understanding" of GMO foods, despite generally supporting a recently approved bill to introduce mandatory labelling of GMOs in the US… William Hallman, also a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and professor of human ecology at Rutgers University, said that the bill could help consumers to improve their understanding of genetically modified foods.

Read the entire article at FoodBev Media »

Climate tipping points: What do they mean for society?

The phrase “tipping point” passed its own tipping point and caught fire after author Malcolm Gladwell’s so-named 2000 book. It’s now frequently used in discussions about climate change, but what are “climate tipping points”? And what do they mean for society and the economy?.. “I hear from a lot of people in the general public who wonder whether we’ve passed a tipping point with respect to the climate, but frequently they don’t know precisely what the term means,” said Robert E. Kopp, the study’s lead author and an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers. “And that’s on the scientific community. Oftentimes, we use the term in a way that doesn’t quite jive with popular understanding.” Study authors also include, among others, Rachael L. Shwom, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers.

Read the entire article at My Central Jersey »

Tough season forces N.J. Peach Festival to be canceled

Peach ice cream – fresh-dipped and fabulous – will be featured at the 2016 Gloucester County 4-H Fair this year. But there won’t be a Peach Bake-Off, or a Little Miss Peach competition. And a 2016 Peach Queen will not be crowned, either… This spring’s weather hit local growers hard. An unusually warm spell in late March – which encouraged early varieties of peaches to blossom – was followed by a deep freeze the night of April 4 and into the morning of April 5. "The temperatures ranged from 17 to 25 degrees," notes Hemant Gohil, agricultural agent at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Gloucester County.

Read the entire article at The Philadelphia Inquirer »

Rutgers 250: NJAES Breed of the Month — Tree Fruit Featuring TangOs® Peach

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NJF16’ TangOs® peach.

The Rutgers 250 All-Star Variety for July 2016 is the ‘NJF16’ TangOs® peach! This tree fruit variety deserves the spotlight for its novel attributes that appeal to both consumers and growers. This beautiful peach is desirable to consumers because of its flat shape, 100% yellow color, and deliciously sweet flavor. What makes this peach so special for farmers and home gardeners is its resistance to environmental threats, high yields per tree, and good firmness for safe transportation. TangOs® and the Rutgers tree fruit breeding program are being featured as part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station’s (NJAES) Rutgers 250 All-Star Varieties celebration.

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Rutgers 250: NJAES Breed of the Month – Dogwood

Rutgers 250 variety, ‘Rutpink’ Scarlet Fire™ dogwood tree blossom. Photo by: Dr. Tom Molnar, Rutgers NJAES.

Rutgers 250 variety, ‘Rutpink’ Scarlet Fire™ dogwood tree blossom. Photo by: Dr. Tom Molnar, Rutgers NJAES.

Scarlet Fire™ Extends Ornamental Dogwood Season

The Rutgers 250 All-Star Variety for June, 2016 is the ‘Rutpink’ Scarlet Fire™ dogwood tree. This is the first Cornus kousa variety released in over 45 years to the ornamental nursery market. Rutgers plant breeder Tom Molnar, continued the decades of work started by renowned breeder and professor emeritus Elwin Orton in the 1970s.

Scarlet Fire™ is a gorgeous deep pink to fuchsia-bracted dogwood tree, known for its deep, consistently pink bracts that contrast beautifully with its dark green foliage. This tree blooms in late May to early June, making it one of the latest-blooming dogwood tree varieties developed at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

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John and Anne Gerwig Directors Fund Presents First Awards

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Larry S. Katz, director-Rutgers Cooperative Extension, with Anne and John Gerwig.

The first John and Anne Gerwig Director’s Fund awards for Rutgers Cooperative Extension were given out on May 4, 2016 at an event at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health that celebrated the Gerwigs and their tireless devotion to extension and underserved populations in New Jersey. The Gerwigs were presented with the commemorative book, “Rutgers, A 250th Anniversary Portrait” by current RCE director, Larry S. Katz, and after some thoughtful and moving remarks by Mr. Gerwig, certificates were presented to Nicholas Polanin and his team for programing designed to empower women in agriculture, and to Michelle Brill and Jeannette Rey-Keywood for a professional development series to create programming for the developmentally disabled.

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John Gerwig.

John and Anne Gerwig are the embodiment of Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE). John joined 4-H when he was 5, became the extension agronomist early in his career, and is the longest serving director (1962-1992) in its history. Anne led the university’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program reaching limited resource families and was instrumental in obtaining critical employee benefits for paraprofessionals in extension.

John and Anne Gerwig wanted to help all of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. This devotion and desire led them to establish a fund that will provide resources to extension professionals in perpetuity. The goal of their $200,000 is to empower cooperative extension professionals so that they can make a bigger impact on New Jersey’s communities. A portion of the fund will be reserved to award through a formal “request for proposal” process set up and managed by the RCE director’s office. Remaining funds will be used to support emerging issues, internships, awarding additional proposals, and other needs that arise.

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Record-Breaking Heat Grips India Amid Rash of Farmer Suicides

Temperatures in India reached a record-breaking 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit Friday, according to the Associated Press, suffocating parts of the country, and drawing further attention to a tragic rash of suicide deaths among the nation’s impoverished farmers, who are battling drought and other environmental conditions that stifle agricultural production… "The heat wave in India is another example that our climate is changing," said Ben Horton, a scientist at the University of Rutgers who focuses on climate change. "We are now experiencing climate extremes that include droughts, wildfires, flood, storms, and tropical cyclones as well."

Read the entire article at WBT 1110 Charlotte »

Rutgers 250: NJAES Breed of the Month – Strawberries

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Strawberry Availability Map

Strawberry Availability Map

Strawberry research at Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) dates back to 1870. By the 1920s, strawberry research was focusing on strawberry breeding and variety trials. Some of the noteworthy strawberry cultivars released by Rutgers NJAES have been Sparkle, Jerseybelle and Raritan. The newest addition, Rutgers Scarlet which has exhibited good production and exceptional fruit flavor, is now ready for you to enjoy.

StrawberriesRead the Edible Jersey Article on Rutgers Scarlet™. Visit the Ag Products page for more information.  To check on availability, click on the map.